The old haunt Bush Hall saw Americana fans stroll in. The guys from USA are doing a European tour, promoting their debut album ‘You’re Dreaming’, ending their UK trip in London on 23rd January 2017.
It’s time to put on your favourite checked shirt, guzzle bottled beers and sway under the warm, dim lighting of the hall. The band stand in the middle of the stage and perform from their debut album, as a fan-base sway to the tunes.
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For such a new band they seem so deeply ingrained in their own style. Born from the days of just jamming for fun to “some well known and obscure country songs that were popular or unpopular pre-1960”, paving their career in this genre seems only natural.
Beautiful vocal harmonies, and Johny Cash-like rhythms punctuate many of the tracks. Slow tracks ‘Powder Blue’ and ‘You’re Dreaming’ hypnotize the Americana fans. ‘Clown Collector’ jives to punchy drums and short guitar chords. Rapport builds, it’s revealed that they both are Gemini, “we’re zodiac twins”.
Crowd-pleasing ‘Stoplight Kisses’ and ‘Mississippi’ gets the crowd hopping to lyrics they know. There’s a saddened dedication to Barack Obama. Campaigning against Trump would be in vain, as we know too well from our Facebook feeds.
The Cactus Blossoms cover The Kinks’ ‘Who’ll Be Next In Line’. It warps into its own Americana genre, straying away from anything gimmicky or function band-like. The guys did well for not doing many covers, which could be tempting for an audience not too familiar with the genre. They kept their style and image.
As demanded, an encore ensues, which involves some convincing whistles and trumpeting from Torrey. There’s a swift exit as they’re on to the Netherlands the next day, and the older crowd swiftly move on to catch their last train home.
The gig had room enough for a seasoned line-dancer, as well as cosy enough to huddle up with your partner. Some guest vocalists would add another dimension, so something to muse over in future tours. The band seem to have struck a chord with the older generation, what comes with that is lack of glaring smart phones, snapchats and selfies.